My life

I used to have a blog…

When I moved to Tampa three and a half years ago, I was assigned to my agency’s St. Petersburg office. It was a fairly interesting place to work, and I enjoyed the drive across the causeway (when it wasn’t a 7-mile traffic jam). I was isolated out there (it’s a small office) and entertained myself by blogging fairly regularly, and reading other people’s blogs.

However, the St. Pete office didn’t generate much work, so after a couple of years I reluctantly moved to the Tampa office. Unfortunately, the computers here are configured in such a way that WordPress is barely functional. I can read my feed, but if I want to post something, most of the time I get a nearly blank screen when I click on Create a New Post. And when I’m at home, I’m usually with my wife, so I’m not thinking about WP.

All this to explain why I haven’t been here.

Shortly after my last post, my beloved cat Simon (the one I had just taken to the vet) disappeared. I had to work an evening shift, and when I got home after midnight, he was nowhere to be found. He never wandered; he always hung out in the driveway, waiting for me to pull in so he could run to the back porch and meow until I fed him. I suppose some kind of animal got him; we have eagles and huge owls and even coyotes from time to time, since there is a small patch of jungle behind our yard.

I got as far as I could with siding the house and left to spend a month in Colombia. We had a great time down there; we took a week-long vacation trip to the islands of San Andrés and Providencia, plus a couple of days at the National Coffee Park in Quindío. If I were to do it again I would skip all but Providencia. It is an idyllic place; a small island (you can drive all the way around in 45 minutes in a rental golf cart), small hotels (big chains have been desperate to put in their hotels but the locals are very careful to keep things small and local), spectacular and uncrowded beaches, delicious fresh seafood.

One of these days I’ll post pictures.

Alicia’s son and one of his school buddies came for three weeks in January, and had a great time. I scrounged up what soccer opportunities I could find: Juan Manuel tried out for the Orlando City B team (more than 100 showed up) and for the University of Tampa, and he and Santiago played 5-on-5 at Cinco Soccer a couple of evenings. They ran around Brandon and Valrico on the two bikes I inherited from my dad, worked out at the gym, played with an ancient XBox, and generally enjoyed themselves.

After the boys left, we had a quiet winter/spring. Now Alicia is back in Colombia for a few weeks, and I’m busy painting the house, changing it from faded barn-red to a bright cream-yellow. It is very satisfying to see the changes.

And who knows? I may start blogging again.


20 thoughts on “I used to have a blog…

  1. Of course you can start again to blog Tim .
    You have so much to write! I am glad you have a good job in Tampa and you enjoyed your holidays in Columbia . Figure we have a priest in our parish in Amiens who is Columbian.
    Poor cat ! but it is incredible you still have wild fauna around .
    I thank you for your comments on my site .
    In friendship

    • That’s very interesting that you have a Colombian priest in Amiens! I would enjoy meeting him. My late father’s best friend Elías, the man who performed our wedding, is a former priest. I don’t remember which order he was with.

      • Our Comlombian priest is a Lazariste an Order founded by St Vincent de Paul at the XVIIth centutury in Paris at the Hospital St Lazare . This order spreads all over the world to take care of poor people and brings the Gospel . This priest studied in the Catholic Institute of Paris and speaks French perfectly . He is very appreciated here in Amiens .(Northern France)
        In friendship

  2. Glad to see you back Tim. I am sorry you lost your cat. 😦
    But the vacation seems to have been fantastic. In the islands, etc. How nice. I came down to Florida, Orlando in Dec-Jan ’16. It was a lot of fun.

    • Thank you. I was very unambitious regarding vacations while I was single; I took my kids to visit my dad a couple of times a year, and drove them to a couple of weddings, but never did any trips just to get away. Now they’re a bit more a part of my lifestyle, although I personally would enjoy just going to Colombia and hanging with friends instead of going to resorts. We have a short cruise coming up next month, our first, so that will be interesting. I need to start planning our December vacation at some point…

    • I’m a little tired of these extended separations from Alicia. They give me time to work on the house, but I don’t enjoy that as much as I used to, either. I’m going to Chile this weekend for work; that will be interesting. I was there back in 2008 or so for a week. I wish I could take Alicia along.

  3. Left a longish comment a few seconds ago, but couldn’t send it through. Not sure why. It says that I am subscribed to you, and yet, it’s a no go.

  4. So sorry to hear about Simon. 😦
    Sounds like some wonderful trips and times with family! 🙂
    A bright cream yellow house sounds beautiful and like a new cheery refreshing outlook! A smiley 🙂 house! 🙂
    Good to see you back here! I miss your blogging! I always enjoy your handy-man posts, your writing, your photos, etc. But, I understand busy and not being able to blog. I only have time to put up a blog 3 or 4 times a month. And I used to blog that many times per week.
    HUGS for you and Alicia!!! 🙂

    • I don’t know why I’m not inspired to blog. I think part of it is the very reduced community of readers here. There’s also the hassle of not being able to upload photos at work. Additionally, I just don’t feel creative most days, even when I have time. If I could take early retirement I would.

      • I’ve found a great group of friends here…some former Xangans, some new WP friends. And as much as I loved Xanga…there is no drama here on WP, no haters, no trolls, no cliques, etc. So, I’ve enjoyed it for over 4 years now. 🙂

        • That’s true, no trolls. I even miss them sometimes. I found a lot of really great blogs here, but have rarely gotten comments from anyone that isn’t a relative or a former Xangan, other than one or two people.

  5. Thrilled to at least get an over-view birds-eye lowdown on your capers the last 5 months(!) My theory is that blogging, for an intellectual accustomed to interaction, pretty much lives and thrives on an expected audience. Reminds me of a scene, perhaps from Firesign Theatre, where a circus performer, poised 100 feet above the ‘crowd’, refuses, in his words, to ‘jump to my possible death into a wet wash-rag from here for *one guy*!’. (The crowd being at the time two drunks hardly even paying attention. ) And yeah, I’ve done many gigs like that. The Xanga community feel , now deceased, grows larger daily in the rear-view mirror. WP now stands for ‘We Pee’ i.e. into the frigid North Sea expecting to warm it up a bit.
    I blame the Devil FB, which like WallMart bulldozed the sensitive and thoughtful elegance of social media into a pile of crumpled likes, recs, and pulses.
    Anyway, have a ball in Chile; I know well the feeling where a gig supposed to be fun is less-so because the one-we-love can’t be there with you.
    Do post a picture or two from far-off SA. My bucket-list, draining nightly, once contained a trip to Tierra del Fuego (sp?) and a gawk at the southern constellations hidden from view by the damned curvature of the good earth, into which I shall shortly be interred/JS

    • One of my kids created my Xanga site for me in about 2005 or 2006. At the time I knew no one on Xanga but my kids . My kids quit posting after a year or so, but I faithfully posted into the void for three or four years. I think some of my kids read my stuff, and one sister did occasionally. I read and commented on the Revelife Christian page, hunted around for decent writing, and found lots of bad writing by college kids and would-be poets. In 2009 I posted a review of the movie The Last Waltz about The Band’s “farewell” concert, and suddenly got some attention, which led me into a new corner of Xanga where I was able to make a lot of new friends and delve into creative writing. But that was the cusp of the wave, which soon splashed onto the shore and faded back out to sea…

      Over here I’ve found good writing, entertaining writing, some good TCK and expat writers, a handful of Xanga refugees… but it does not have that community feel, at least not for me.

      I enjoy FB because it brings together the many slices of my life (there are people from the little jungle church my dad founded in Puerto Asís over 50 years ago), but I get tired of the sappy stuff, bitter and shallow political stuff, memes, etc. I’d rather see pictures of people’s lunches. One of my proudest FB creations is one of those World’s Most Interesting Man pictures on which I put the text, “I don’t always give advice” (with no “but” after it).

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